Inspiration2

Michaela Christian

"I will always remember the generosity of Cara Heiden, who I am greatly appreciative of for supporting me as I reach my educational goals. I hope to follow her example as a leader and give back one day, as she has done for me."
—Michaela Christian
Senior, Accounting

Sometimes it takes years for people to find their calling. Others discover their passions early in their lives. Michaela Christian, a senior from Algona, Iowa, is one of the latter.

"I always knew heading into college that I wanted to major in accounting," she said. "I loved my accounting class in high school, and my passion for the field has only grown the more I learn through my courses at Iowa State University."

Christian aspires to become a leader in public accounting and mentor other young individuals who are beginning their accounting careers. The people who inspire Christian the most are those who take time to help others, and leaders who give back to their communities — in other words, the type of individuals who mirror Christian herself.

She also looks to her parents as inspiration and motivation to become the best she can be. While growing up, both of Christian's parents were reserve judge advocates in the U.S. Air Force, which meant that one of them would be gone for a week every other month or so. "Their absence, for service, taught me to take responsibility of my own schedule and schoolwork. To this day, I am lucky that I learned independence, a hard-work ethic and time management from the example set by my parents."

Since falling in love with the accounting profession, Christian's dream has been to work for a large public accounting firm — a goal that will come to fruition when she begins her career as a tax associate in fall 2018.

"Last spring during their busy season, I completed a tax internship with RSM in Des Moines. Upon wrapping up my time there, I was offered and accepted a full-time position with the company. I am so excited to help clients and continue to grow in the public accounting industry," Christian said.

Receiving support from the Heiden Fund for Women in Business has been a profound honor for Christian. "The greatest impact has been the financial assistance, which allows me to focus on my coursework instead of worrying about working extra hours in order to afford tuition," she said.

"I will always remember the generosity of Cara Heiden, who I am greatly appreciative of for supporting me as I reach my educational goals. I hope to follow her example as a leader and give back one day, as she has done for me."

“I thought about what meant the most to me – outside of my family – and it was obvious that I would give to Iowa State. So I called the office of gift planning and they helped me plan the best course of action.”

- Margaret "Margi" Donaldson

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Iowa State University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Iowa State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Ames, Iowa, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Iowa State or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Iowa State as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Iowa State as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Iowa State where you agree to make a gift to Iowa State and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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